One of Android Wear 2.0‘s marquee features is the introduction of standalone apps. The feature lets you bypass the need for your phone to send data to your smartwatch apps and, instead, allow Android Wear apps to function on their own. One such app is Wear Casts, a recently-released Android Wear app that stands as the first standalone podcast app.
In terms of features, Wear Casts remembers the last played position for each of your podcasts, notifies you when a new episode is available, and automatically creates playlists for downloaded and in-progress podcasts. The app also responds to external audio controls and lets you manage when you want the app to sync.
Interestingly, Wear Casts brings with it a phone companion app, but it is only used to add podcasts to your Android Wear smartwatch and if you want to use it as a backup player. The latter is most useful when you want to stream your podcasts, since Wear Casts does not let you stream episodes from your wrists.
Overall, Wear Casts is a no-frills podcasts app for Android Wear that looks to bypass your smartphone as much as possible. I’m sure the developer will continue to optimize the app and add more features in future updates.
To that end, I’ve reached out to the developer to see what features he looks to implement in future updates, as well as what versions of Android are compatible with the app. For now, Wear Casts is available as a free download through the Google Play Store at the link below.